Blake J. Murdock is one of a select group of 49 dealer nominees from across the country who will be honored at the 107th annual National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 3, 2024.
The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. The award recognizes the nation’s most successful auto dealers who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service. Murdock was chosen to represent the New Car Dealers of Utah in the national competition – one of only 49 auto dealers nominated for the 55th annual award from more than 16,000 nationwide.
“The most rewarding aspect of my automotive career is the people I’ve worked with over the years, and in my situation, that also means family members,” nominee Murdock said. “The relationships I have developed with customers, employees, and communities are priceless.”
Murdock’s first job in the industry was as a lot attendant at his grandfather’s dealership, Olsen Chevrolet in Layton, Utah, in 1967. He attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and his focus was squarely on joining his father Kent to carve out a career in the retail auto business.
“It was important to me to learn as much as possible about this industry,” he said. “I took classes, attended conferences and participated in industry organizations, knowing that I wanted to leave a legacy for my children like my father did for me.”
In 1982, he partnered with his father and brother, K.O., in a Chevrolet store in Bountiful, Utah. From there, they acquired more dealerships and founded the Murdock Auto Team, which now encompasses multiple stores in northern Utah, representing brands Cadillac, Chevrolet, Genesis, GMC, Hyundai and Volkswagen.
Murdock served as CEO of the group until September 2020 when he sold the business to his two oldest sons and his nephew and purchased his current Ford store with his youngest son, Dain.
“I have worked in the automotive industry my entire life,” he said. “A solid work ethic, good communication skills, and a clearly defined set of corporate values have made it possible for me to hire and inspire great employees. I never ask them to do more than I am willing to do myself.”
Murdock views his involvement in associations including the New Car Dealers of Utah, and manufacturer dealer councils, as a way to gain business knowledge and mentor others.
“I find it is essential to keep current with industry trends and innovations,” he said. “I also find it rewarding to mentor new leaders to keep the industry strong and moving forward.”
Murdock’s most important civic achievement is helping to raise funds for the Bountiful Veterans Park. Dedicated in 2020, the park pays homage to all veterans from the Bountiful area, beginning with those who served in the War of 1812. The names of the veterans are etched on granite walls and the park features a dramatic centerpiece statue.
“I am proud to be involved with this unique and special monument that honors those who have protected and served our country,” he said.
Murdock has also supported the Stuff the Truck event to support local food banks, Coats for Kids initiative from the Rotary Club of Bountiful, Santaquin Orchard Days celebration and CenterPoint Legacy Theatre. He also supplies vehicles for athletic departments at three major universities.
Dealers are nominated by the executives of state and metro dealer associations around the country. A panel of faculty members from the Tauber Institute for Global Operations at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year. Three finalists will receive $5,000 for their favorite charities and the winner will receive $10,000 to give to charity, donated by Ally.
In its 13th year as exclusive sponsor, Ally also will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of TIME Dealer of the Year nominees.
“At TIME, we are proud to uphold the decades-long tradition of honoring automotive dealers who make a positive impact and show dedication to their communities through our TIME Dealer of the Year award,” said TIME CEO Jessica Sibley. “We are excited to keep this tradition of applauding these community contributions together with our partners at Ally.”
Doug Timmerman, president of dealer financial services, Ally, said, “Auto dealers nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to not only the industry but to their respective communities through volunteerism, sponsorships, and supporting charitable causes, no matter the market climate. Whether their clients are purchasing a first car or upgrading for a growing family, these selected dealers have successfully extended their relationships beyond the showroom and have been steadfast in driving their communities forward.”
Murdock was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Craig Bickmore, executive director of the New Car Dealers of Utah. He and his wife Julie have 10 children.